All pet patients are important to a veterinarian healthcare worker

I bet the last time you took your cat – or dog, or bird, or horse – to the pet clinic, you weren’t thinking about how many pet patients your veterinarian healthcare professionals sees each day. As pet parents, we’re generally focused on our own pet’s needs. Does kitty cat need to have surgery? Why is puppy dog limping? We go to our veterinarian hoping they will have this magical solution and poof! – our pet is all better.

But for every one of our pets seen at a vet clinic, veterinarian healthcare workers see a few dozen patients per day more (a 2011 VIN study found that most veterinarians spend 20-30 minutes per appointment) performing wellness exams, drawing blood, giving vaccinations, prescribing medicines, cleaning teeth, performing surgeries, and so much more.

Veterinarian healthcare workers are humans

Despite our desire to attribute divine qualities to veterinarian healthcare workers so they can heal our beloved pets when they’re ailing, veterinarians and veterinarian healthcare workers are people, just like you and me. Yes, they are experts when it comes to the health of our pets. However, it’s easy for us to forget that they, too, have their own personal lives, families, and life challenges. And that unlike careers in which they can leave the office at 5pm on a Friday and not think again about work, most of them can’t.

A veterinarian friend recently shared a post on Facebook written by another veterinarian in her field. She explained in her “share” that the sentiments expressed in this veterinarian’s post very much reflect her own thoughts and feelings. After I read the post, I realized how little I took into consideration all the other pet patients my veterinarian sees. And it made me so much more grateful for living in a country where we have access to some of the best veterinarian care in the world. So I decided to share it with all of you. Note: I copied and pasted it out of respect to the author of the original post. Here it is:

“I suspect it’s hard to love anyone in the Veterinary healthcare field. We get up early and don’t have time to drink coffee over the newspaper. We come home late and are too tired to cook or it’s too late to even start a meal for our family. We work extra hours because we know there are sick animals who need us and we are all that they have. We miss events, holidays, birthdays, and our children’s school programs or sporting events. We think about our patients even when we leave the building, wondering if we helped them in any special way. We don’t want to talk when we come home. We’ve talked all day. We don’t want to move when we come home. We’ve moved all day. It may seem that we have left all our caring, our heart, and our love at work, then have come home to you empty. We probably have. But we don’t tell you that many times at work we’re mired by anxiety and we’re scared; very scared that we’re missing something. Scared we will let our patient down, or worse. Our patients are our families, too. We don’t tell you how some of our patients are dying and this makes us very, very sad. We don’t share with you how our hearts melt when our patients give us that loving kiss or tail wag that makes our day even though we still know they feel terrible and can’t tell us why, we just have to use our experience and do our best to treat to the best of our ability. I suspect it is hard to love a Veterinary healthcare worker, but know this: your Veterinary healthcare worker needs your love, your understanding, and to know that you get it.”

Know someone in the veterinary healthcare field?

If you know a veterinary healthcare professional, tell him or her how much you appreciate that individual. Consider going one setp further and giving them a huge hug and tell them they are loved. They need to hear how grateful and fortunate we are to have them in our and our pets’ lives!